MMI Preparatory School sophomore Darren Zheng participated in a special, state-only project and earned the right to advance to the Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Leadership Conference based on his work in the Computer Game and Simulation competitive event.

Zheng, the son of De and Hongzhi Zheng of Jim Thorpe, was one of 15 finalists in the preliminary round who advanced to the final round of the competition. MMI Social Sciences instructor Katherine Zucco is the FBLA advisor. The PA FBLA State Leadership Conference will be held from April 8-10 in Hershey.

For the qualifying competition, students were required to create a game designed to test a member’s knowledge of FBLA. The game had to produce questions to be presented to the user comprising a minimum of five different FBLA-related topics. Some acceptable topics for the questions included: competitive events, business skills, national officers and/or running for national office, national sponsors/partners, basic parliamentary procedure, national conference (NFLC and NLC) dates/locations, and FBLA history. The game was required to be winnable and competitors needed to implement a system of rewards/penalties, such as points, tokens, or levels. Questions needed to be drawn from a question bank that presented the user a different assortment of questions every run of the game and it was required to have an increase in difficulty as the levels increase.

The event tested the programmer’s skill in designing a functional, interactive simulation/game that would both entertain and educate/inform the player. Competitors were evaluated on a prejudged project as well as a live presentation of the project.

Flashback Cinema, a national program celebrating classic movies on the big screen, sponsors MMI’s chapter of FBLA.